On Monday, Sept. 23, US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will award $986 million in airport infrastructure grants – an amount that includes a half-million dollars for Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) to help the airport pay for an updated PTIA Master Plan Study.

The money will help the airport get what PTIA officials say is much needed: An update of the strategic plan, which will guide the airport well into the future. PTIA currently has several significant major projects underway – including runway rehabilitation and the creation of a giant aviation megasite –and airport officials say that the strategic plan, last updated about a decade ago, needs to be revamped.

The $500,000 for PTIA is part of the fifth allotment of a total of $3.18 billion in Airport Improvement Program funding for airports across the United States. The North Carolina projects in this round of funding also include:

  • Asheville Regional Airport, $5.3 million, to be used to expand aircraft parking areas, provide security enhancements and purchase snow-removal equipment.
  • Concord-Padgett Regional Airport, $5.1 million, to be used to rehabilitate an aircraft parking area.
  • Pitt-Greenville Airport, $3.4 million, to be used to repair and expand a parking area for aircraft.
  • A Block Grant to North Carolina, $2.4 million , to be used for non-primary airport development projects.

In a press release announcing the funding recipients, Chao stated, “This significant investment in airport improvements in North Carolina will fund construction and rehabilitation projects that will help maintain high levels of safety in US aviation.”

In all, the FAA is awarding grants in this round of funding to 354 airports in 44 states and two territories – Micronesia and Puerto Rico. Some of the funded projects include “runway reconstruction and rehabilitation, construction of firefighting facilities, and the maintenance of taxiways, aprons, and terminals.”

According to FAA officials, the projects supported by these grants will “enhance safety and capacity while promoting economic growth in the regions served by each airport.”